How to Choose the Best Dual Battery Setup?
Suppose you need your rig to power gear such as your bike, portable fridge, safety lights, or radios while four are parked. Then this means that you are going to need a secondary battery kit. Furthermore, with the dual battery system, you don't risk losing power gear and ensure that your vehicle is always ready to start up with installing the dual battery system.
A dual battery system is that which uses a secondary battery kit in addition to a vehicles starter battery. The secondary battery is used as a power source for auxiliary gear and as well accessories.
Your Dual Battery Setup Budget:
Cost is considered an important factor in all your decisions. So, for this, it is necessary to know your power needs because you can assess your secondary battery kit budget based on some needs. These needs are necessary to consider for managing the budget for the dual battery. So, your dual budget will be based on these needs, which are as given below;
You can also introduce a single battery setup if you did not need a fridge and a vent fan. You could have gotten by using the vehicle's existing 12v electrical system, charging your devices from the factory 12v outlets, and forgone a dual battery system altogether.
If you are tight on budget, then you can also consider a solar generator dual battery system. In this way, you are never worried about power while camping off-grid. You splurged by integrating a solar generator into your battery.
Consider a Single Battery System:
Suppose your vehicle's electrical system consists of an alternator that charges a battery that supplies power for starting and running your vehicle as well as power some 12v accessories. If your needs are no greater than running a few LED lights, charging your phones and the occasional laptop. So, this is sufficient, and you may not need a full dual battery setup.
By using the vehicle's existing electrical system and as well as a cheap inverter that you can easily pick up from pretty much any big-box retailer or the automotive store, then you can plug the inverter into your vehicle 12v outlet. Then you have to plug your devices into the inverter.
You are ready to roll for a total of about $40. It is recommended you try to find and use the devices that can already operate or be charged on 12v all modern phones and even laptops. But nowadays, there are also 12v slow cookers, ovens and refrigerators out there.
You also have to remember to assess your wattage needs because most standard starting batteries are limited to 37 to 75 amp-hours. Hence, only 50% of the power is usable in that battery before the battery is dead, so be careful about this.
Suppose you are not running your vehicle regularly or traveling daily, so the devices like 12v slow cookers, ovens, and refrigerators will potentially draw more and more power than your alternator, and a single battery can easily supply. So, remember that you need to consider a secondary battery kit that can meet your camping power needs.
Traditional Dual Battery Setup:
In a traditional second battery kit, there is a device that is called a battery isolator, which enables your vehicle's alternator to charge the both starting battery and as well as second house battery independently of one another. It is considered a very flexible option and can easily do on a modest budget if needed.
By adding the battery for your device power needs, you can keep your starting battery isolated to be never at risk of being run completely dead and leaving you stranded.
It also allows you to add some capacity/ amp-hours / batteries to supply power for things like a crockpot. In addition to this, you can also consider a Camping fridge or a microwave when it is combined with a properly rated power inverter.
Considerations for the Traditional Dual Battery:
It would help if you had to consider something's for the traditional dual battery setup, which is as given below:
- You must consider the battery's weight because lead-acid, AGM, and Gel type batteries are bulky and weigh a substantial amount. For example, a 105 amp-hour AGM battery weighs almost 70 Ibs.
- Commonly it is not recommended to discharge these types of batteries that are lower than 50% of their rated capacity. It is necessary to consider avoiding damage or shortening their life span.
- To use a dual battery system effectively remembers that you need more than just an additional battery.
- At least it would help if you had a power inverter, a battery isolator, heavy-gauge DC wiring (0, 2, 4, and 6 ga-depending on the length and power draw) for supplying power to and from the battery isolator to your secondary battery kit. Furthermore, you want solar a solar charge controller for charging your house battery, a solar panel(s), and wiring to connect it all.
So, these are some things that you need if you consider the secondary battery kit.